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Paul, Weiss Files State Court Complaint for Injunctive Relief to Protect Abortion Access in Mississippi

Paul, Weiss is representing Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO)—the last abortion clinic in Mississippi and our client in the Dobbs case—in a new lawsuit asking Mississippi’s Hinds County Chancery Court to prevent the State of Mississippi from enforcing its trigger ban, which would prohibit nearly all abortions in Mississippi.

In anticipation of the Dobbs decision, Mississippi and other states across the country have been preparing to enact and enforce laws that would severely limit or entirely ban access to abortion care. Mississippi’s trigger ban is set to take effect in 10 days, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

The injunction we seek would prevent the state from enforcing either ban or any other law that would limit Mississippians’ separate and independent rights under the Mississippi Constitution, which the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled protects a right to abortion separate and apart from the federal constitution. Absent an injunction, the bans will effectively prevent the people of Mississippi from accessing essential health care.

Our clients argue that Mississippians have a separate right to abortion under the Mississippi Constitution, a right confirmed by a 1998 decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court. In that 1998 decision, known as Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice, the Mississippi Supreme Court held that “[n]o right is held more sacred . . . than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person,” “no aspect[] of life is more personal and private than those have to do with one’s own reproductive system,” and “the state constitutional right to privacy includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.” Because that 1998 decision remains good law, the lawsuit argues that it requires the state to refrain from enforcing the Bans and closing JWHO’s clinic.

As in the Dobbs case, our co-counsel are the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Mississippi Center for Justice.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Claudia Hammerman and Alexia Korberg, counsel Aaron Delaney and Caitlin Grusauskas, and associates Heather Milligan, Samantha Weinberg, Jenifer Hartley, Tatiana Laing, Allison Penfield, Melina Meneguin, Kelsey Sweeney, Amanda Valerio, Lauren Varga, and Simona Xu.

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